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Surprising Health Benefits You Never Imagined About Avocados
When was the last time you had some guacamole? Probably not all that long ago. Most Americans simply love to make guacamole with avocados, or put them in their sandwiches and salads, but did you know that in many parts of the world, the luscious avocado is served as a dessert? No wonder, because avocado health benefits are innumerate. There are so many ways to use these fruits, and since they are probably one of the most perfect foods on this planet, we should make better use of them than just guacamole. For example:
- In any recipe that calls for fat (butter, shortening, et) you can use avocados instead (try an avocado mayo recipe)
- Whip it up in your blender or mash it really well and use as baby’s first food
- Cut some up and put it in your soup or stew
- Mix up some avocado with your morning eggs
- Avocado and toast… Yummy!
- Add it to smoothies
- Put some on your burger
- Make avocado soup
- Try an avocado pizza
Although most of us don’t need to be sold on avocados, we could probably all benefit from eating more of these silky little lovely fruits. Take a look at the top 15 avocado health benefits, so if anyone asks you why you are eating a ton of them, you can tell them why!
1. Reduce Risk of Stroke
Avocados are high in folates, which protect you from strokes. One study showed that those who ate a diet rich in folates had a lower risk of having a stroke than persons who didn’t indulge in avocados.
2. Increase Absorption of Nutrients
One study had subjects eat a salad every day that included avocados. Scientists found that the subjects who ate the avocados absorbed five times the lycopene and beta-carotene than those who didn’t eat avocados.
3. Gain Weight
Most fruits have between 60 and 100 calories per 100 grams. Avocados have 200 calories per 100 grams. If you have been trying to gain weight, eat more avocados. These fruits are a healthy source of calories, unlike many other calorie-dense foods that are full of unhealthy saturated fats and excess sugar.
4. Stay Younger Looking
Since avocados are rich antioxidants, they are quite beneficial in helping to stop premature aging. Avocados also contain glutathione, which slows the aging process, improves your immune system, and supports a healthy nervous system.
5. Naturally Stop Bad Breath
Most bad breath really begins in the stomach and intestines. Avocados are one of the best ways to naturally clean your mouth, stomach, and intestines, which will eliminate halitosis.
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6. Ensure Beautiful Skin
Avocado oil is an important ingredient in many lotions and cosmetics due to its nourishing compounds. Avocado oil will literally make your skin glow. It’s also helpful in treating a skin disease that causes extreme irritation and redness called psoriasis.
7. Eat Heart Healthy Diet
A high level of homocysteine in associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocados have folic acid and vitamin B6, which regulate homocysteine levels in the body. Besides these, avocados also have monounsaturated fats, glutathione, and vitamin E, all of which also contribute to keeping your heart healthy.
8. Reduce the Risk of Inflammation
Another health benefit of avocado is that these fruits have polyphenols and flavonoids, which are found to have strong anti-inflammatory compounds. This means that by eating more avocados, the phytonutirents they contain can reduce the risk of degenerative and inflammatory issues. Find out more anti-inflammatory remedies.
9. Regulate Blood Sugar
Avocados contain monounsaturated fats, which are the good types of fats we need to more of. These fats can actually reverse insulin resistance, which will help your body to regulate its blood sugar levels naturally.
10. Support Healthy Vision
Carotenoid lutein is a substance known to help protect us from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration and avocados are a great source of this compound.
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11. Help Regulate Blood Pressure
In order to have lower blood pressure, you need to decrease your salt levels and increase your potassium levels. Avocados are high in potassium, so they can help you get your blood pressure under control, naturally! Read on about other natural remedies for lowering blood pressure.
12. Prevent Birth Defects
Folates are important for preventing birth defects such as spina bifida, and avocados are rich in folates! One cup of fresh avocado has about 23 percent of your RDA.
13. Fights Free Radicals
The king of all antioxidants, glutathione, is well known for fighting free radicals that cause premature aging as well as a host of other diseases. What a beauty benefit!
SEE ALSO: 15 Benefits of Using Avocados for Health and Beauty Infographic
14. Benefit in Cancer Protection
There have been numerous studies showing that avocados can retard the growth of prostate cancer and that breast cancer can also be prevented by the oleic acid in avocados. Ohio State University researchers are trying to figure out exactly how avocados do this. They published a preliminary study in 2011 that showed the phytonutrient combination within each individual avocado might be the answer to its anti-cancer effects in the body.
15. Lower Cholesterol
In one study, subjects that had mild levels of heightened blood cholesterol, added avocados to their diet every day for 7 days. After just one week, all subjects had a 17 percent decrease in their overall blood cholesterol levels and an 11 percent increase in their HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol were lowered by 22 percent. Avocados are rich in a substance called beta-sitosterol, which has been shown in studies to lower blood cholesterol levels quite effectively, without side effects.
The Mayan people have a saying that goes: “Wherever avocados grow, malnutrition and hunger have no friends.” This statement is just as true today as it has ever been. It’s avocado time, friends! Choose perfect avocado at your store and eat up!